YouGov have looked at where the Party’s votes came from compared to 2015 and produced a Sankey Diagram, which I think is really cool.

I am not sure it shows the first time voters; there should be a black segment on the left with the label “Didn’t Vote”. The original has overlays showing the swing from Tories to Labour and the loss of votes by the small parties. Labour’s challenge was to win votes from everywhere including those that didn’t vote. It actually did this, although not enough to win the election; those who thought it was too much for one election were right. …

Voting by Mobile Phone


Polly Toynbee in the Guardian today bemoans the low turn out and the perceived ‘rotten borough’ nature of Britain’s parliamentary democracy. Among her arguments she suggests voting should be made easier by allowing people to use their mobile phones.

I have commented; because identifying oneself to government, counting elections and guaranteeing the secrecy of the ballot are the last things we should hand over to proprietary, closed software. Digital activists have come to the conclusion that even counting election results by scanned paper ballots is undesirable and where it is done in this country, a sample based manual verification is undertaken. I presented the argument that the regulator’s code must be open to the @labourdigital Top of the Manifestos event. …

What do London’s MEP candidates think about digital?


Yesterday the Open Rights Group held its final European Parliament hustings at Shoreditch Village Hall in Hoxton, London. It’s been a while since I visited and it’s certainly cleaned up well. It was great to be there. On the way in, I met Claude Moraes, Labour’s spokesman who told me that the Tories non-attendance was deliberate policy. I don’t know if it’s shame at their behaviour on the lobbying around the data protection directive or fear of a digitally educated audience. The meeting was moderated by Glyn Moody, who led the meeting through the issues of privacy, surveillance, whistle blowing, net neutrality, lobbying and copyright reform. The Tories absence meant that representatives from Labour, the LibDems, both represented by incumbents Claude Moraes and Sarah Ludford,the Greens (Danny Bates) and UKIP (Paul Oakley) who were not, were present. …

Voter Suppression?

Voter Suppression?

The Guardian reports that the electoral commission have announced that they propose to extending proof of identity checks at the polling station from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK. This has been a while coming. I reviewed Mike Buckley’s Banana Republic UK, in which he argued that, proof of Identity should be presented when voting and/or applying for a postal vote, identity checks should be undertaken when applying for inclusion on the electoral roll & postal votes should be restricted to those who have a need. His arguments also strongly suggest that judicial scrutiny of contested or suspicious results should be easier to start. …

How important is postal voting becoming?

How important is postal voting becoming?

Late last year, I read Banana Republic UK, which I reviewed here…. We should all be familiar with the dire turnout in the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, and a comment by Joanna Baxter made me consider what proportion of the PCC elections were cast by postal ballot. Since the postal vote is the most vulnerable part of our voting system, as it becomes more pervasive, the vulnerabilities become more important; the election becomes less safe. …

What’s my vote worth?

How easy would it be to steal an election in the UK? Over the break, I read “Banana Republic UK?” by Sam Buckley. In it, he argues that that it’s too easy to rig and steal elections in the UK, and that this has been compounded by the then Labour Government’s decision in 2000 to allow postal votes on demand as an attempt to increase voter participation. He reviews process of legal review of elections, illustrates the difficulty and cost of starting and winning such a review. He then looks firstly at the specific review of two wards in Birmingham in 2004, which led to the elections being voided and a number of individuals being disqualified from standing for public office because they had corrupted the postal votes. Those disqualified were members of the Labour Party; Buckley balances this by exploring a review of elections in Slough where supporters of the Conservative candidate were convicted of rigging the election by placing non eligible voters on the electoral roll. The constraints on who can request an election court, the burden of proof and the time limits make it hard for the Police to participate in ensuring that vote rigging doesn’t occur. They can prosecute wrong doers, but cannot void the election. …

May 3rd, 2012, London

I was pounding the streets in Deptford with @VickyFoxcroft and @Joe_Dromey on Thursday, campaigning for Ken in his campaign to replace the Tory Johnson as Mayor for London.

Thanks to all the people I met, those who voted for Ken and the Labour Party, those who campaigned with me, and those who didn’t but remained polite.

It was a close run thing in the end, and I even had my hopes raised between 16:30 and 21:00 when what became three Labour “constituencies” had yet to declare but it wasn’t to be.

I met several people, who just cheered us on in Brockley, but also one in New Cross, who while saying he had voted for Ken, thought he needed,

to remember where he came from

and those who are still there. I did challenge him, as I personally recognise this criticism of many of Labour’s leaders, I didn’t think it included Ken Livingstone. I promised to repeat it, and I shall remember this advice when choosing our next candidate. …

London votes tomorrow

Tomorrow/Today we elect a Mayor and Council in London.

Labour’s candidate is Ken Livingstone, he is fighting to replace the right-wing tory, Boris Johnson.

I was planning to summarise my feelings but if you check out my internet spore, I think you know how I feel. Nicky Gavron, a GLA Assembly Member summarizes brilliantly, why Ken is right for London, and Johnson is wrong in her blog article, Ken v Boris.

Vote Labour for London
Johnson has been a disgrace as London Mayor, I don’t even thinks he wants to be Mayor, and Ken has always been a great public servant and Londoner. Once again, read Gavron’s article.

The key powers of the Mayor are Transport, Police and Planning. Ken’ll reduce the fares, bring stability to the Police and use the planning powers in the interests of Londoners to build affordable housing.

Johnson will increase fares at above inflation, sack policemen and Comissioners and built 56 houses in the last six months.

There’s only one sensible choice. Vote Labour for London. …